• What we think: Taxing districts need to answer

    We now have a clearer picture of how many of our tax dollars this year will be going to the 16 separate taxing districts around our county. At least the property tax payments recorded by Sheriff Mike Armstrong have showed us how our hard-earned $30 million is being divvied up.

    Yet, although we have this dollar amount and a thread of an idea about the tax distribution, we truly don’t know how that ball of yarn unwinds.

    And we owe you an apology.

    We simply should have been watching more closely and offering you more information along the way.

  • We congratulate: Brenda Jackson’s deserved award

    Brenda Jackson has served Shelby County Public Schools long and well and, as she has sworn to do, she has put the kids ahead of herself. Her methods can be questioned, as they were last fall when she fought off a challenger to win her seventh term representing District 5 on the Shelby County School Board, but you can’t debate what is in her heart, for she lives from that heart every time she takes her seat on the platform for a board meeting.

    Ms. Jackson is all about the kids and making sure they get the best education this county can provide.

  • What we think: Let’s try a new idea on debt, gun issues

    The topics of greatest collision these days in our national discourse are the centrifugal – if not central – debates about the oversight of our economy and of our right to bear arms.

    Almost every person in leadership at every level of our governments – and many of us lowly taxpayers – is debating one side or the other of one topic or the other, some wanting to choke the reins of control while others want at least to maintain the freedom of movement now in place. Oddly the chokers and the relaxers are not consistent along the political spectrum.

  • We congratulate: Lessons in safety schools are learning

    We like what we are hearing from our schools about an increased focus on security. A month after the devastating horror that occurred in Newtown, Conn., we are seeing and hearing that those 26 deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary are having some bit of a positive legacy in school systems cross the country.

    We like that we hear and see that Shelby County Public Schools is working systematically with law enforcement for lockdown drills and process reviews that are intrinsic in providing confidence to parents and imperative to ensuring that first responders are practiced as well.

  • What we think: Let’s get tougher on fund-raising solicitation at intersections

    The Shelbyville City Council is working on a really good concept that appears to be at a crossroads as to whether it deserves a green light.

    We speak of the newly beefed up solicitation ordinance the council introduced and passed on first reading last Thursday night. The idea is to get more teeth into the requirements for those who would solicit money, for gain or for good cause, on your doorstep, your sidewalk or your street corner.

  • We congratulate: Two ideas fit for emulation

    When we think of public giving, we like creative concepts that benefit in a variety of ways, and we have two great examples that have come together to form a truly great addition to our community.

    First there was the generous, end-of-year contribution to Shelby County by business owner Jamie Latona, which was followed by a stroke of genius by those who received the gift.

  • What we think: These are our goals for 2013

    This is the time of year for goal-setting, for establishing a blueprint and a roadmap to develop us as better individuals and, together, guide us into forming a stronger community. We commit those concepts into ink on paper, giving them weight and value and creating a contract that binds us to them.

  • What we think: We have made good progress on a few issues

    Here is our annual report card for the community, when we evaluate our performance against the goals and objectives we listed last January.

    We have undertaken this process since 2009, and we believe that it is the newspaper’s goal to establish goals and lead the focus and discussion on issues that are of primary importance to all of us.

    As we look back at 2012, at an agenda that was modest by most standards, we can grade our county with an A in several important categories, but we are more unsettled by how many Incompletes we must hand out.

  • What we think: We must ensure our students are safe

    As we have sat and watched our worst nightmare emerge as reality in Newtown, Conn., we are left with only one question that truly matters now:

    Are our students safe?

    When we put on their coats to protect them from the weather, when we place them in vehicles built for safety, when they are delivered into the buildings where they will spend their days, are they truly protected?
    Before Friday, isn’t that a part of life we took for granted? The safest place for a child would be his or her home. Next on that list would be their schools. Right?

  • We congratulate: New grant to help schools

    Thanks to some smart work by Leon Mooneyhan and the folks at the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, Shelby County students are about to have a chance to be a bit smarter themselves.

    Mr. Mooneyhan and OVEC partnered with the Green river Regional Educational Cooperative to earn $40 million in federal Race to the Top grants for 23 school districts.

    That’s a wonderful accomplishment in a state that had missed out entirely on earning a piece of one of those grants in 2011. The cooperatives’ cooperation worked well.